eNews: Friday 10th January 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

Welcome back to the Lent term.

I’d like to thank you all for the warm welcome I’ve received at St Michael’s – it’s very nice to be back!

As you may know, I taught at St Michael’s as Deputy Head between 1991 and 2000 and it’s good to see that the ethos of the school has remained unchanged. I’m gradually meeting all of the children, who are a delight and I’m impressed with the professional and caring staff, to whom I extend my thanks.

I look forward to experiencing the joy of St Michael’s again and to sharing memorable moments with you all.

Graham Malcolm




From the Deputies

We have enjoyed hearing all about the exploits of the children over the festive period and the presents and experiences they have had with family and friends, around the world. With the ever-increasing development of devices we do hope that the simple pleasure of spending time in the company of loved ones isn’t lost to future generations. The start of the Lent term would be noticeably less fun were we to lose the oft-told anecdotes of elderly relatives and their mishaps involving dentures and Brussels sprouts at the dinner table on Christmas Day!

The start of a new term is a time for targets, goals and fresh starts. In our first Prep assembly on Tuesday morning, we looked at the history of New Year resolutions. We apparently have the ancient Babylonians to thank as the forerunners for our current custom. When it was explained that originally this was a time to repay debts and return borrowed items, there were a few pointed glances around the room, with the look of missing PE kit in some children’s eyes!

Thinking of New Year’s goals, we were excited to launch our own RED January in assembly today. At St Michael’s the RED stands for Read Every Day and we hope that you will encourage your children to join in this initiative, and perhaps take part yourself.

As always, should you have any questions or matters you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact us.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

Staff News

A warm welcome to Sonia Flavin, who joins St Michael’s as Teaching Assistant in Pre-Prep.

Sonia left her career within the property industry in 2011 to have her first child. In the meantime, she has been a full-time mother whilst also studying. She completed an Access to Teacher Training Diploma in 2013 and, prior to having her second child, was a Year 2 Teaching Assistant in Bromley.  She further developed her academic knowledge by passing her Early Years Foundation Degree in which she graduated last year and has plans to continue her studies to become a qualified Primary Teacher.

Sonia enjoys keeping active and spending quality time with her children.

She is looking forward to joining St Michael’s to provide outstanding care and support to the children and the staff.


An equally warm welcome to Rebecca Sims, who is joining the Prep school as a Learning Support Assistant and Teaching Assistant.

Rebecca has worked as a teaching assistant in a local village school for the past two and a half years. During this time she has gained a vast amount of experience and has formed good working relationships with both pupils and parents/carers.

She enjoys helping those around her strive to be the best they can be, whilst making them feel proud of their achievements. She has a very kind, caring nature and is extremely hard working.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoys travelling and exploring new places.

Rebecca is really looking forward to being a part of the St Michael’s team and is looking forward to getting to know everyone and utilising her skills.


News from Pre-Prep

• New staff in Pre-Prep
• Fri 10th Jan Year 2 parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 17th Jan Year 1 parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 24th Jan Reception parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 31st Jan Year 2 parents – Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 7th Feb Year 1 parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Lent term. I hope you all had a good Christmas holiday.

Welcome to Sonia Flavin our new teaching assistant in Pre-Prep who will be working in RJ with Mrs Jeffery on Thursdays and Fridays.

This term we have a series of maths and English workshops for parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. These will be held on Friday mornings after drop-off. If you would like to know a little more about how we are teaching your children, please pop in to the dining room on the relevant date.

I am looking forward to meeting with the class reps over the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions you would like them to ask, please email your class rep.

One small reminder, if you are walking down to the playground with your children in the morning please park in the car parks and not in the drop off lane. Thank you for your co-operation.

Overheard: “You can tell these are definitely Bluewater trainers not Sainsbury’s ones.”

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Registration for Nursery and Reception 2021

We are in the process of sending out offers for places in our Nursery and Reception classes for September 2021.

If you are looking for a place for your child in either of these year groups, please contact Jenni Rye, Admissions Assistant on 01959 522137 ext 207 or email her on jrye@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk


On this week’s Message Board

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Message Board to see new important information as follows:

  • Inter-House Senior and Junior Drama Duologue Competition
  • Online Safety presentation by Lorin LaFave – booking now open

On this week’s Community Events page

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Community Events page to see important community information.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

We are delighted that both our lovely St Michael’s mums and Year 5 pupil, I Sharma, have been mentioned in the latest edition of Attain magazine (a copy should be coming home with your children in the next few days). Page 42 features our mums’ Hever 10k run in support of “Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees” and page 47 features I Sharma’s achievement in bringing home a gold medal in the European Yoga Championships.

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Isaac for being loud and clear during the Nativity
Lottie E for always being an enthusiastic helper
Sam S for fantastic speedy working out of how to make 10
Emily P for wonderful independent work on ways of making 10
All of RM for a fantastic start to the new term! We are very impressed
Bonham B for excellent effort in our phonics lessons
Arthur S for fantastic effort and enthusiasm in our number lessons
Lawson B for improvement in reading
Kieran P for fascinating holiday homework all about the history of his house
Robert M for an excellent start to the term and super effort with his writing
Max H for great effort in improving his handwriting
Benji S for reading at a good pace with some lovely expression
Hugo M for working hard on his spellings in the holidays
Florence B for her re-enactment of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ in our PE lesson
Luca C for outstanding improvement with his handwriting
Alexander H for being a great king in Mrs Leech’s assembly
Mickey M for fantastic writing about the Christmas holidays

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 45 points
Genevieve M collected the Cup on behalf of Leeds House

Times Tables Certificates

Gold – Eva V H, Florence B
Silver – Jake L
Bronze – Eva F

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

O Gasson For a fantastic Homework Challenge presentation, including trailer!
O Court For an outstanding play script written for your Homework Challenge, including props and stage direction!
E Wilcock For a brilliantly created app with excellent data input
D Verdamato For a wonderful video diary and written diary about Sir Edmund Hillary
P Mahil For a fantastic video diary of Marco Polo
E Porter For a fantastic video diary of Helen Sherman
M Lewis For an outstanding poster, showing electricity in the home
H Brown For completing your times tables card

RED January

In the Prep school assembly today we launched RED January, an initiative to encourage children to Read Every Day. Pupils have been given a large red sticker to put in their homework diary and we have asked them to tick off a numbered square for every day that they read between now and 31st January. Reading at school and at home both count. Happy reading!

Mrs Baisch and Mrs Andrade

Players of the Match, week commencing 6th January 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby K Cameron For great all-round play
U12 M Blincoe For great tackling
U11 A No Match
U11 B S Ward For good tackling
U10 A O West For playing consistently well at the breakdown
U10 B A MacRae & R Browne For superb all-round play
U9 A S Taylor For great defensive line speed
U9 B J West For good tackling and scoring good tries
U8 A W Pennington Legh For showing good aggression
U8 B T Staples For scoring 4 tries
U8 C G MacIntosh For a superb defensive display
U13 A Netball No Matches for girls this week
U13 B
U13 C
U11 A
U11 B
U11 C
U10 A
U10 B
U10 C
U9 A
U9 B
U9 C
U8 A
U8 B
U8 C

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Rose Hill School Future Schools’ Evening

Rose Hill School (Coniston Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SY; Telephone: 01892-525591) are holding a Future Schools’ Evebubg on Tuesday 28th January from 7pm. They would be delighted to welcome any St Michael’s parents, who would like to join them.

Over twenty independent secondary schools will be in attendance, including Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Bede’s, Bethany School and Hurstpierpoint College.

Please register in advance with clare.rowton@rosehillschool.co.uk 


Latest News

Prep pupils treated classmates and music teachers to a variety of musical performances this week in their half termly concert.

Performed in three instalments within their bubbles, the musicians showcased a variety of pieces, varying in both genre and instrument.

And although parents were unable to attend the concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pupils’ families received a recording of the event.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music, said “We were delighted by how these first concerts of the academic year went despite the absence of the children’s parents. It was a lovely intimate experience for the children to play or sing to their friends and we heard some confident, accomplished performances.

Mr Baird added: “For some, it was their first time playing in a concert in the Prep school and we look forward to organising many more opportunities for them to perform throughout the year.”

A montage of the three music concerts can be found on the St Michael’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/Bj_Wx4P9heg.

Spooky spiders and plump pumpkins sparked Halloween fun at St Michael’s this week.

Supported by the school’s Parents and Friends association, pupils enjoyed two games which offered great prizes to winners.

Coordinator of the Halloween competitions and P & F committee member, Kelly Downey said: “Given the restrictions currently in place, the P&F are focusing on strengthening the school community for parents and children this year.

“The competitions are a simple way for the children to have some fun in the week before half term, while raising some funds for the P&F.”

Children in Pre-Prep were tasked with guessing the number of spooky spiders in the jar, while Prep children were asked to guess the weight of a pumpkin. Pupils made a donations to the P & F in exchange for each guess they made.

And the winners of the games, Herbie W (Pre-Prep) A Ward, M Little, L Lutzow and H Owen (Prep), were awarded Halloween hampers which will help them celebrate this year’s festival in spooktacular style.

Kelly added: “The funds raised for the P&F will go towards funding activities and facilities for the children to enrich their time at the school.”

For more information about St Michael’s P & F association visit stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/parents-friends


Strawberries and sunflowers were just some of the items celebrated in last week’s harvest assemblies.


The annual Pre-Prep event, performed as three instalments this year, saw Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils sing, dance and give prayer for the harvest while learning about the festival from their music teacher, Mrs Raveyeh.



Reflecting on the success of the events, Louise Raveyeh said: “I am quite moved by the children’s enthusiastic singing in our harvest celebration.


“It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise that there is joy in giving and sharing what we have and happiness for those who gratefully receive it.


“Their singing and eagerness to share with others was heartwarming.”



During the assemblies pupils sung songs about harvest time, nature and the variety of fruit and vegetables grown in this country.


Louise said: “I wanted the children to be thankful for what they have by realising what an amazing rainbow variety of food we have, created with individual characteristics just like them.


“I wanted them to realise the sense of joy that there is in sharing what we have.


“The songs reflect our celebration of what we have and realisation of the process of planting, harvesting and sharing.”



And it wasn’t just songs that helped the children express their thanks. Helped by their generous parents, Pre-Prep donated hundreds of food items and household essentials to the Swanley branch of Trussell Trust food bank.



Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, Zerrin Leech, said: “We had tables, cupboards and bags festooned with food last week as our families gave very kind donations of food and other items.


“A huge thank you must go to the pupils’ parents for their wonderful generosity once again this year which will be gratefully received by the Trussell Trust.


“Thank you also to Mrs Ravayeh for leading our three harvest assemblies. They have been lovely with lots of new songs as well as my all-time favourite, Cauliflowers Fluffy.”





Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”